Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shoreline Village

Ran some errands and decided to add a mile walk and some sketching. Forgot my moleskine but had purchased some legal envelopes. At least I had something to sketch on. Parker's Lighthouse takes it roofline from an old building that used to be in the nearby old Pike amusement park. It may have been for the merry-go-round which is reburbished and in Shoreline Village, another subject for future sketching. The city has relocated the original rooftop near the new Pike Place but it appears to be melting beyond salvation.

The first view faces south towards the ocean and Queen Mary. This faces north, towards the city, Ocean Blvd, Pine Ave and Signal Hill. The city has set up all the concrete barriers for the Grand Prix which begins next week. Hard to imagine race cars will zoom by less than a hundred feet away.

Shoreline Village is the frosting part of downtown Long Beach, the attractive fun zone built on the skeleton of the old amusement areas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cheetos and Taxes

An antique dish, handpainted leaf pattern from Japan, probably 1940's. It's stamped JAPAN on the bottom. Cheetos and cola, treats to lure myself to finish the bookkeeping for tax time.

Yesterday's breakfast of coffee and danish on another antique dish, heavy clear glass tea set probably from the 1920's. A raised bubble or popcorn pattern on the bottom. Bright orange Japanese cotton scarf with tiny yellow dot wave pattern, too tiny to paint.

Uniball pen, watercolor in moleskine.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sketchcrawl at Shoreline Village

Sandy and I did a sketchcrawl this afternoon at Shoreline Village, Long Beach, a shopping restaurant area with marina, views of the Queen Mary and the new Pike Place built on the grave of the wild and wooly old Pike amusement park. The rickety rides, ferris wheel and tatoo parlors began to disappear in the early 1980's. The new Pike opened a few years ago.

The cold winds made people hurry by. Could only manage a bare outline of a woman and man. Looking north towards Ocean Blvd, the new Pike and parked sail boats.

Parker's Lighthouse served a yummy appetizer of fresh nachos and warm spinach dip and kept us filled to overflowing (I was overfilled) with coffee and iced tea while we sketched and chatted. Refreshing day. We sat in their front glassed in patio, taking shelter from the cold winds but with beautiful blue sunny skies. Steve, Sandy's husband, joined us after taking their two doggie children for a brisk walk along the oceanside.

View north towards tall buildings along Ocean Blvd, hiding the ocean views we used to have along the street.

This is Margaret, a well behaved dog who looks to be part Shih Tzu. Next time I'll have to sketch her sibling. A few sketches always makes me feel productive. Watercolor added on site. Uniball waterproof pen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fish Paint

This last 5 x 9 foot canvas was unfinished at the bottom, right side and several fish shapes in the middle. The Aquarium of the Pacific produced 30 canvases for Art Miles day last month, students, members and staff painted sea life and some created images to remind people actions have reactions on our environment.

Adults had as much fun as the children. Art should be fun.

The starfish holding the peace symbol and the colorful whale top left might be my favorites on this canvas. All of the canvases were special.

My treat to finish this canvas at home. Those blue and orange sea eels with the hood ornament leaf shapes on their mouth really do look like that. Ditto for the sea worms, white with yellow stripes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Carnitas and the Warrior

SHAMBALA The Sacred Path of the Warrior
By Chogyam Trungpa

Page 11 “The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambala vision is not being afraid of who you are. Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself. Shambala vision teaches that, in the face of the world’s great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time. Shambhala vision is the opposite of selfishness. When we are afraid of ourselves and afraid of the seeming threat the world presents, then we become extremely selfish. We want to build our own little nests, our own cocoons, so that we can live by ourselves in a secure way.”

My daughter gave me this palm sized book several years ago. Philosophy is not an easy read for me but this book is written clear enough. Straight reading gives me little. I do better to pick it up every once in a while and let it surprise me. Most of us do strive to create a cozy nest, a place of peace, comfort, warmth. And for us, a place to make art for our own pleasures. Better to add wings and find ways to share.

Page 14 Excerpt from An Enlightened Society
“Discovering real goodness comes from appreciating very simple experiences.”

This would be me. The simpler the better.

Watercolor in moleskine 3-1-09.